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Revocation Petition for Patent: Suit or Not within Section 10 CPC?

The matter at hand revolves around the question of whether a revocation petition for a patent can be treated as a suit within the meaning of Section 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC).

The Patentee sought a stay on the cancellation of the revocation proceeding pending before the Delhi High Court under Section 10 CPC, claiming that a suit proceeding was filed before the Himachal Pradesh High Court.

The subject matter pertains to Indian Patent No. IN 268846. The revocation petition was electronically uploaded on the Delhi High Court's website on 16.10.2021 but listed before the Court on 22.10.2021.

Conversely, the Suit was filed before the Himachal Pradesh High Court on 19.10.2021 but listed before the Court on 20.10.2021. The Delhi High Court deemed the revocation petition as earlier instituted, considering the electronic upload date of 16.10.2021, which preceded the Suit's filing on 19.10.2021.

The Court's Analysis:
The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi carefully analyzed the provisions of Section 10 CPC and relevant aspects of patent revocation proceedings to arrive at its decision.

Absence of Provision:
The court observed that there is no explicit provision by which a revocation petition under Section 64 of the Patents Act can be treated as a suit under the CPC. Absence such a provision, the court stated that it cannot deem a revocation petition to be a suit.

Difference in Procedural Nature:
The court highlighted the procedural distinctions between a revocation petition and a suit proceeding. In a case where Section 10 CPC applies, the court handling the later suit may still pass interlocutory orders under Order XXXIX of the CPC and other related provisions. The trial of the suit is the only aspect stayed. However, in patent revocation proceedings, there is no provision for a trial like a suit proceeding.

Inconsistency in Application:
The court addressed the concern of potentially inconsistent application of Section 10 CPC. If certain revocation petitions require a trial while others do not, only the former would become subject to Section 10 CPC. This inconsistency would not align with the intended legal position.

The Concluding Note:
Based on the analysis of Section 10 CPC and the nature of patent revocation proceedings, the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi concluded that a revocation petition under Section 64 of the Patents Act cannot be treated as a suit proceeding within the meaning of Section 10 CPC. The absence of an explicit provision and the different procedural nature of the two proceedings were the key factors that influenced the court's decision.

The Case Law Discussed:
Case Title: Dr. Reddys Laboratories Limited Vs The Controller of Patent
Date of Judgement/Order:03.08.2023
Case No. Co Comm (IPD-Pat) 3 of 2021
Neutral Citation: 2023:DHC : 5520
Name of Hon'ble Court: Delhi High Court
Name of Hon'ble Judge: C Hari Shankar, H.J.

Information contained herein is being shared in the public Interest. The same should not be treated as substitute for legal advice as it is subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception, interpretation and presentation of the facts and law involved herein.

Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman, IP Adjutor - Patent and Trademark Attorney
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9990389539

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